Tony Barbee

MinerManiac

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There has been a lot of interest and speculation on this board about Tony Barbee lately, pretty much ever since Tim Floyd stepped down. While I really doubt that he is returning to UTEP, I have decided to provide my own perspective of the former coach:

Many who don't want him to return say that he was aloof while he was here, making it apparent that he was just biding his time until he moved on to a bigger and better job. I have to agree that I received the same vibe from him. I personally don't mind that he took this job as a stepping stone. I want a coach that is hungry and looking to make a name for themselves; it brings an aggression that is helpful to the program. However, I do believe that if you want support from the community, it is a mistake to act like you are just biding your time here.

Rabadeaux, Gillispie, and Sadler all frequently talked about how lucky they were to be coaching a program with such tradition, and how fortunate they were to have a legend like Don Haskins available to them. They made sure that the public knew how frequently they talked to Coach Haskins. It was brilliant PR, and, picking the brains of a legend was brilliant as well.

Barbee didn't seem to embrace our history, and also didn't talk to Haskins like his predecessors did. It seems that he thought that there was nothing that he could learn from Haskins, as his new system was so different than what UTEP used to run. This was a mistake. It's obviously a mistake from a PR standpoint, as basketball fans in this town loved Haskins, but it was also a mistake for Barbee professionally. Despite the differences in style, at some level basketball is basketball, and no one locally knew more about basketball than Haskins. Additionally, Barbee could have picked Haskins' brain on how the Bear would have defended Barbee's offense, helping to prepare for what other teams might throw at the Miners.

I personally had an experience with his aforementioned aloof personality. I was enjoying lunch with my family in the PX food court on Bliss when Barbee and his team walked in. I immediately recognized everyone, and went over to meet the coach and team. Barbee was, at first, happy to meet me, then asked if I was going to be at the next home game that week. I had a commitment, and let him know that I would not be able to attend that particular game. He immediately turned around, cutting off the conversation, and went to talk to others, despite the fact that I was obviously a fan. I really wasn't offended, just shocked, but did give him credit for going out in public with the team and interacting with the community. Unfortunately he didn't do that enough.

I also saw a comment on this board that Barbee was only able to create a CBI team, and was lucky to land Caracter, who which allowed him his opportunity to go to the NCAA Tournament. This is completely ridiculous.

The team that Barbee inherited from Sadler had one great player, Stefon Jackson, one solid player, Marvin Kilgore, and almost no one else. Not surprisingly, Barbee couldn't win with this roster. He then brought in an amazing class, which included Randy Culpepper, Julyan, Stone, Gabe McCulley, and Claude Britten. Jackson and a bunch of freshmen were able to increase UTEP's win total from the year before and make the CBI. The next year saw the arrival of Arnett Moultrie, the team improved again, and made the finals of the CBI. It would be ridiculous to think that the team wouldn't have improved the following year, even if it they didn't have Caracter. They did, of course, add Caracter, which Barbee and his staff have to be given credit for, in addition to adding Jeremy Williams, Christian Polk, and Myron Strong. This would have been a very good class even without Caracter; with Caracter, it was a fantastic recruiting class. They, of course, improved again over the previous year, won the conference regular season title, and received an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

I will return to the idea of Barbee being "lucky": during his tenure here he recruited three players that played some time in the NBA (Caracter, Stone, and Moultrie), recruited our second leading all time scorer (Culpepper), and several other players that were solid to really good college basketball players (i.e. McCulley, Polk, and Britten). He is easily the best recruiter that we've had at UTEP in the post Haskins era.

I believe that Barbee's teams have a reputation for being really good on offense but really porous on defense. I also believe that the latter belief has a basis in truth. During Barbee's first three years his teams would often have bad lapses on defense. After the team would have a particularly poor defensive game Barbee would tell Teicher that during practices that week he was going to run his "perfect stop" drill. The next game the Miners would typically play fairly well defensively, but would gradually return to their poor defensive play over the next several games, causing Barbee to pull out his perfect stop drill again. My friend TenaciousD asked on this board why this drill wasn't run at every single practice.

The young coach seemed to finally learn that lesson his fourth and final year at UTEP. His CUSA championship team was a fantastic defensive team, allowing them to run off 16 straight wins. That team was not only talented, they played very well together - at least until the second half of the NCAA Tournament game against Butler. Their success that season had nothing to do with luck.

There is another statement that I have read on here that isn't quite true, that states that Barbee, unlike Floyd, was able to keep all of his recruits. Does anyone else remember that the star of Barbee's first full class wasn't supposed to be Culpepper, Stone, McCulley, Britten, or Portalin? The most heralded recruit in that particular class was Manuel Cass. He was released from the team after 13 games, none of which he started, for disciplinary reasons. The next season we welcomed two top notch recruits from the Memphis area: big man Moultrie and guard Jason Jones. Jones showed promise, but decided to transfer after his freshman year, a move that I understand really disappointed Barbee. There is also the case of Marcus Ruppel. His tenure made Cass seem like a four year letterman, as the sharp shooter was kicked off the team after playing in only one game. Still, the basic idea behind the above statement stands: Barbee had much less of a problem with player turnover at UTEP than did Floyd.

I've seen it said here that if Barbee had stayed one more season that we would have been able to retain both Caracter and Moultrie. I believe that this is true for Moultrie, but I believe that Caracter planned to use his junior year at UTEP to rehabilitate his image, and then go pro, no matter whom was head coach. Floyd's running off of Moultrie ended up being a huge mistake. As a junior Moultrie averaged 16.4 ppg and 10.5 rpg, making first team all conference. Unfortunately it was for Mississippi State, not UTEP.

One final note: I've seen it said that Barbee left the cupboard bare for Floyd. It is true that Floyd inherited a team comprised mostly of seniors, when a team with staggered classes would a been an easier foundation on which to build a program. Still, Barbee left Floyd with the most talented team the latter would ever have at UTEP, and the only one to come close to making the NCAA Tournament. And it doesn't take 8 seasons to overcome losing a large class to graduation.
 

Lil_Train

MI Hall of Famer
Jun 28, 2001
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There has been a lot of interest and speculation on this board about Tony Barbee lately, pretty much ever since Tim Floyd stepped down. While I really doubt that he is returning to UTEP, I have decided to provide my own perspective of the former coach:

Many who don't want him to return say that he was aloof while he was here, making it apparent that he was just biding his time until he moved on to a bigger and better job. I have to agree that I received the same vibe from him. I personally don't mind that he took this job as a stepping stone. I want a coach that is hungry and looking to make a name for themselves; it brings an aggression that is helpful to the program. However, I do believe that if you want support from the community, it is a mistake to act like you are just biding your time here.

Rabadeaux, Gillispie, and Sadler all frequently talked about how lucky they were to be coaching a program with such tradition, and how fortunate they were to have a legend like Don Haskins available to them. They made sure that the public knew how frequently they talked to Coach Haskins. It was brilliant PR, and, picking the brains of a legend was brilliant as well.

Barbee didn't seem to embrace our history, and also didn't talk to Haskins like his predecessors did. It seems that he thought that there was nothing that he could learn from Haskins, as his new system was so different than what UTEP used to run. This was a mistake. It's obviously a mistake from a PR standpoint, as basketball fans in this town loved Haskins, but it was also a mistake for Barbee professionally. Despite the differences in style, at some level basketball is basketball, and no one locally knew more about basketball than Haskins. Additionally, Barbee could have picked Haskins' brain on how the Bear would have defended Barbee's offense, helping to prepare for what other teams might throw at the Miners.

I personally had an experience with his aforementioned aloof personality. I was enjoying lunch with my family in the PX food court on Bliss when Barbee and his team walked in. I immediately recognized everyone, and went over to meet the coach and team. Barbee was, at first, happy to meet me, then asked if I was going to be at the next home game that week. I had a commitment, and let him know that I would not be able to attend that particular game. He immediately turned around, cutting off the conversation, and went to talk to others, despite the fact that I was obviously a fan. I really wasn't offended, just shocked, but did give him credit for going out in public with the team and interacting with the community. Unfortunately he didn't do that enough.

I also saw a comment on this board that Barbee was only able to create a CBI team, and was lucky to land Caracter, who which allowed him his opportunity to go to the NCAA Tournament. This is completely ridiculous.

The team that Barbee inherited from Sadler had one great player, Stefon Jackson, one solid player, Marvin Kilgore, and almost no one else. Not surprisingly, Barbee couldn't win with this roster. He then brought in an amazing class, which included Randy Culpepper, Julyan, Stone, Gabe McCulley, and Claude Britten. Jackson and a bunch of freshmen were able to increase UTEP's win total from the year before and make the CBI. The next year saw the arrival of Arnett Moultrie, the team improved again, and made the finals of the CBI. It would be ridiculous to think that the team wouldn't have improved the following year, even if it they didn't have Caracter. They did, of course, add Caracter, which Barbee and his staff have to be given credit for, in addition to adding Jeremy Williams, Christian Polk, and Myron Strong. This would have been a very good class even without Caracter; with Caracter, it was a fantastic recruiting class. They, of course, improved again over the previous year, won the conference regular season title, and received an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

I will return to the idea of Barbee being "lucky": during his tenure here he recruited three players that played some time in the NBA (Caracter, Stone, and Moultrie), recruited our second leading all time scorer (Culpepper), and several other players that were solid to really good college basketball players (i.e. McCulley, Polk, and Britten). He is easily the best recruiter that we've had at UTEP in the post Haskins era.

I believe that Barbee's teams have a reputation for being really good on offense but really porous on defense. I also believe that the latter belief has a basis in truth. During Barbee's first three years his teams would often have bad lapses on defense. After the team would have a particularly poor defensive game Barbee would tell Teicher that during practices that week he was going to run his "perfect stop" drill. The next game the Miners would typically play fairly well defensively, but would gradually return to their poor defensive play over the next several games, causing Barbee to pull out his perfect stop drill again. My friend TenaciousD asked on this board why this drill wasn't run at every single practice.

The young coach seemed to finally learn that lesson his fourth and final year at UTEP. His CUSA championship team was a fantastic defensive team, allowing them to run off 16 straight wins. That team was not only talented, they played very well together - at least until the second half of the NCAA Tournament game against Butler. Their success that season had nothing to do with luck.

There is another statement that I have read on here that isn't quite true, that states that Barbee, unlike Floyd, was able to keep all of his recruits. Does anyone else remember that the star of Barbee's first full class wasn't supposed to be Culpepper, Stone, McCulley, Britten, or Portalin? The most heralded recruit in that particular class was Manuel Cass. He was released from the team after 13 games, none of which he started, for disciplinary reasons. The next season we welcomed two top notch recruits from the Memphis area: big man Moultrie and guard Jason Jones. Jones showed promise, but decided to transfer after his freshman year, a move that I understand really disappointed Barbee. There is also the case of Marcus Ruppel. His tenure made Cass seem like a four year letterman, as the sharp shooter was kicked off the team after playing in only one game. Still, the basic idea behind the above statement stands: Barbee had much less of a problem with player turnover at UTEP than did Floyd.

I've seen it said here that if Barbee had stayed one more season that we would have been able to retain both Caracter and Moultrie. I believe that this is true for Moultrie, but I believe that Caracter planned to use his junior year at UTEP to rehabilitate his image, and then go pro, no matter whom was head coach. Floyd's running off of Moultrie ended up being a huge mistake. As a junior Moultrie averaged 16.4 ppg and 10.5 rpg, making first team all conference. Unfortunately it was for Mississippi State, not UTEP.

One final note: I've seen it said that Barbee left the cupboard bare for Floyd. It is true that Floyd inherited a team comprised mostly of seniors, when a team with staggered classes would a been an easier foundation on which to build a program. Still, Barbee left Floyd with the most talented team the latter would ever have at UTEP, and the only one to come close to making the NCAA Tournament. And it doesn't take 8 seasons to overcome losing a large class to graduation.
Super post Maniac. Completely on the spot. The only thing I can add is that I did not personally consider Barbee a strong bench coach at the time. That said, I thought Floyd would be a better one than it turned out. I can't help to think that Barbee would be better the second time around simply because he is older and much more experienced as a coach. That said, I highly doubt Senter would go in this direction.
 
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UTEPMiners8106

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Super post Maniac. Completely on the spot. The only thing I can add is that I did not personally consider Barbee a strong bench coach at the time. That said, I thought Floyd would be a better one than it turned out. I can't help to think that Barbee would be better the second time around simply because he is older and much more experienced as a coach. That said, I highly doubt Senter would go on his direction.

Whatever apprehensions people had about Barbee when he took the job, he grew into the job and improved over time just like the team. My only question mark during his tenure at UTEP was that did they laid in the second half v Butler in the NCAA Tourney. I always wondered what caused that team to sh*t the bed in that manner? They looked to be well on their way to a W in that first half.
 

miner1liner

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Well done Maniac. Glad you concur on Barbee's non-candidacy to return. It is still puzzling how he sunk to the bottom at Auburn. Refresh my memory; didn't we beat him a year or two later?
 

MinerManiac

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Well done Maniac. Glad you concur on Barbee's non-candidacy to return. It is still puzzling how he sunk to the bottom at Auburn. Refresh my memory; didn't we beat him a year or two later?

We did. In 2011, Floyd's second year, we beat them 83-76 in a tournament in Hawaii. According to the UTEP Athletics website that was a Christmas Day game, which made for a nice Christmas present.

Let me say that while I don't think that Barbee will return to UTEP, I wouldn't be opposed to it. As you can see, I agree with you that he appeared disinterested and aloof during his time here, but I hope that, should he return, he would have learned his lesson. He was a fantastic recruiter, and did grow into the job while here. Still, I believe that Senter will probably go in a different direction.
 
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I was a long time UTEP season ticket holder - 23 years long! Until this year when I just couldn't take any more of Floyd and Stull. I am a good friend of Coach Barbee and just had to let you know some of your supposed insight is completely inaccurate.

In response to Coach Barbee not embracing the Haskins family, I know for a fact that Tony and Coach Haskins would get together four to five times a year. Haskins would pick him up in his truck and go to Haskins watering hole on I-10 towards Las Cruces. On several occasions they met a Coronado Country Club to talk basketball while Steve Haskins hit balls at the practice range. Coach Haskins attended practices a few times a year and Tony would take the time to ask for his comments and suggestions.

As for his team not playing defense, in 2010 (Barbee's last year at UTEP) kenpom.com shows that his team was top 10 in the country - both offense and defense. His team was made up of kids he personally recruited.

Although Floyd started off with many seniors, it sure did not help that he ran off Moultry as well as Eric Moreland - a 6'10" small forward who would've been a great asset to the team. Moreland ended up transferring to Oregon State where he was named the PAC 10 player of the year and went on to play in the NBA.

Going back to the Butler game, we were dominating the first half. The officials took over the game in the second half and handed Character his fourth foul, leaving him on the bench most of the second half.

Your perception of Barbee being aloof and not seen in the community, that could not be farther from the truth. Barbee took his team to Ft.Bliss and to local hospitals during the holidays but unfortunately it was not covered by the EP Times.

I met Tony with many of my east side friends , neighbors and UTEP supporters only 5 days after his hire. He made a strong effort to reach out El Pasoans and loved living here.

Leaving to Auburn was a no-brainer! A 7-year 1.5 million GUARANTEED contract was offered to him when his salary at UTEP was $300,000 per year. I know for a fact Stull never attempted to keep him here by making his contract more appealing. Yet Floyd started at $600,000!

You bring up some good points but just felt the need to clarify, sure wish we could go back to the Barbee days.
 

Lil_Train

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I was a long time UTEP season ticket holder - 23 years long! Until this year when I just couldn't take any more of Floyd and Stull. I am a good friend of Coach Barbee and just had to let you know some of your supposed insight is completely inaccurate.

In response to Coach Barbee not embracing the Haskins family, I know for a fact that Tony and Coach Haskins would get together four to five times a year. Haskins would pick him up in his truck and go to Haskins watering hole on I-10 towards Las Cruces. On several occasions they met a Coronado Country Club to talk basketball while Steve Haskins hit balls at the practice range. Coach Haskins attended practices a few times a year and Tony would take the time to ask for his comments and suggestions.

As for his team not playing defense, in 2010 (Barbee's last year at UTEP) kenpom.com shows that his team was top 10 in the country - both offense and defense. His team was made up of kids he personally recruited.

Although Floyd started off with many seniors, it sure did not help that he ran off Moultry as well as Eric Moreland - a 6'10" small forward who would've been a great asset to the team. Moreland ended up transferring to Oregon State where he was named the PAC 10 player of the year and went on to play in the NBA.

Going back to the Butler game, we were dominating the first half. The officials took over the game in the second half and handed Character his fourth foul, leaving him on the bench most of the second half.

Your perception of Barbee being aloof and not seen in the community, that could not be farther from the truth. Barbee took his team to Ft.Bliss and to local hospitals during the holidays but unfortunately it was not covered by the EP Times.

I met Tony with many of my east side friends , neighbors and UTEP supporters only 5 days after his hire. He made a strong effort to reach out El Pasoans and loved living here.

Leaving to Auburn was a no-brainer! A 7-year 1.5 million GUARANTEED contract was offered to him when his salary at UTEP was $300,000 per year. I know for a fact Stull never attempted to keep him here by making his contract more appealing. Yet Floyd started at $600,000!

You bring up some good points but just felt the need to clarify, sure wish we could go back to the Barbee days.
Thanks for insight Felipe. What is your take on what happened to Tony at Auburn?
 
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The only reason Tony took the Auburn job was Bob never presented him with an extension or a raise even though he took us to the top of an extremely tough CUSA and was in the bottom 3 in salary at the time in the conference. He knew it was an awful basketball job but Bob never made him feel as if he wanted him to stay. Plus if you do your homework you know Auburn basketball has always sucked. There's only been two coaches in the history of the program to win (Sonny Smith and Cliff Ellis) both were fired for cheating amid NCAA violations and their current Coach Pearl has the NCAA and FBI investigating his program and is probably going to be fired for cheating as well. It is not rocket science. He didn't forget how to coach or recruit. It is the fact he wasn't willing to cheat to do it!!!!!!
 
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UTEPfan1966

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Great post Maniac, as always. I sure wish you'd post more often. You and few others from back in the day got me hooked on this site....

I met Barbee a few times and he was indeed aloof. He didn't want to be bothered by us common folk. His wife made him seem friendly. She was possibly the most arrogant woman I have ever met. She even sat alone at the games not wanting to be bothered. Barbee himself was an arrogant snot and no one can tell me different. He was a hell of a recruiter, appeared to learn well on the job, then failed horribly at Auburn. Sorry folks, but I was hoping he fell flat when he left because of how crappy his attitude was towards UTEP and El Paso. While he may have a few friends still here, notice he doesn't come to visit them, they must go to him. That's arrogance.

He did do well here. Don't kid yourself, he hasn't been offered another head gig or he would have taken it. No wonder he would be interested in coming back.
I promise you no one at UTEP or any big boosters would be ok with him back no matter how much he won here.

Besides, Senter is changing our game.....#picksup
 

UTEPfan1966

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The only reason Tony took the Auburn job was Bob never presented him with an extension or a raise even though he took us to the top of an extremely tough CUSA and was in the bottom 3 in salary at the time in the conference. He knew it was an awful basketball job but Bob never made him feel as if he wanted him to stay. Plus if you do your homework you know Auburn basketball has always sucked. There's only been two coaches in the history of the program to win (Sonny Smith and Cliff Ellis) both were fired for cheating amid NCAA violations and their current Coach Pearl has the NCAA and FBI investigating his program and is probably going to be fired for cheating as well. It is not rocket science. He didn't forget how to coach or recruit. It is the fact he wasn't willing to cheat to do it!!!!!!
hogwash
 
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Lil_Train

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I wouldn't be against hiring Barber either. From the standpoint of qualifications, his would exceed assistant coaches who have no D1 head coaching experience, including a guy like Ron Sanchez. To me, unless Senter is able to lure a guy like the coach at ETSU, or a guy like Cross at UT-Arlington, the next level of candidate would be a guy like Barbee. Again, this is very unlikely to happen, in my opinion, but it is encouraging if willing to throw his name into hat. Frankly, I am somewhat surprised.
 

unihom

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Steve Forbes won't be the next head coach at UTEP. He will be in the ACC or SEC. Not sure how or why his name gets thrown around here.

Cross might be a possibility if he wanted a new challenge. He hasn't made the NCAA tournament in 10 years though and he's not having one of his better seasons this year.
 
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jq_miner

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He was not well liked by a lot of faculty and staff, and probably not by Stull. I worked at UTEP during his tenure and Floyd’s first year, and I heard a lot of rumors about him. I won’t go into it, but when others consistently said negative things about him, it was obvious he did ruffle feathers. I saw him mistreat Facilities Services staff and several fans. Matter of fact a lot of the faculty treated the Fac Services personnel bad. There was this feeling that you were just another Mexican working basically slave labor for shit pay. The same position I held at UT Austin paid double what I was making.

Yes he did a good job here, but he burned too many bridges here.
 

PickAx

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Only way I would be in favor of taking him back is that the buyout clause for him leaving would be huge and not go down to a reasonable amount until about year four...
 

UTEPMiners8106

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Maybe some of you guys are right, maybe he had a nice fat ego when he was here at UTEP. But whatever ego he had probably got kicked in during his time at Auburn and if he did express interest in this job he probably realized that he really had a good thing here. Say what you want El Paso fans are a lot more loyal than some places and there is a lot of job security here and although we trash fan support, it is a lot better than some winning programs. Where else could Floyd, Kugler, and even Price suck for years and keep their jobs?
 
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Minerforlife

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Barbee is the only option. He built a top 25 team in a conference with at the time had a top team team. He would run through this conference.
The expectations for this program are completely delusional. The tradition and any pedigree we once is completely gone.Since 1966 we have average two tourney trips a decade with the exception of the eighties when we went to six. There is no evidence to support the belief that UTEP can be a sustained basketball power. The game has completely changed from the eighties. The top schools are all in ten conferences. We are in perpetual one bid league. There are huge obstacles we have to overcome to build the program into a consistent winner.

In the last 25 years we've been to three tournaments. Only one man has been able to build a top 25 program: Tony Barbee. This is a difficult job, one man has proven he can win here and bring in elite talent. Barbee's last team featured a starting five that featured three guys who would go on to play in the NBA and one of the most electrifying players to ever players to ever play at UTEP. I don't know if anybody else in modern times could assemble that kind of talent at UTEP. It would be insane not to hire Barbee. Hes the only healthy person we know can win at UTEP, and he did it in a conference that was ten times tougher than this current incarnation.
This is a tough job. The fan base is dying off. Hire an unproven assistant and the chance of failure is over 75%. There are several lands mines associated with this job. Tony knows where they are and how to get around them.

I'm tired of losing. There is only one man we know for sure can win here. It would take him two years to build a team that would rip through this conference. Contrary to popular opinion he likes El Paso and has always spoke fondly about it. In coaching there are bad fits that's all Auburn was. If we really want to win it's time to bring back Barbee.
 

UTEPDefense

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One final note: I've seen it said that Barbee left the cupboard bare for Floyd. It is true that Floyd inherited a team comprised mostly of seniors, when a team with staggered classes would a been an easier foundation on which to build a program. Still, Barbee left Floyd with the most talented team the latter would ever have at UTEP, and the only one to come close to making the NCAA Tournament. And it doesn't take 8 seasons to overcome losing a large class to graduation.

To add an additional thought to this, most people also forget that Barbee both recruited and signed John Bohannon. Bohannon was signed months before Floyd even accepted the UTEP job. Bohannon was one of our top players during Floyd’s years here. The Floyd years were average, but imagine how much worse they would have been if Barbee had not left a signed Bohannon for Floyd to inherit.
 

axingfools1

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Barbee did great here. He didn't owe anything to Haskins. I don't care if he was aloof or cocky as some people say. I loved watching his teams grow and dominate at times. His style was exciting. He recruited some awesome players and won a lot of games. If he had stayed one more year, his team would have been top 20 and in the NCAA again. Moultrie and Moreland would have been miners too.

I'm not a proponent of re-run coaches but if he was hired again and won again then he would have my support. I want excitement, recruiting and wins. Barbee did all that.
 

M i n e r

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Only way I would be in favor of taking him back is that the buyout clause for him leaving would be huge and not go down to a reasonable amount until about year four...

And a promise to play Kentucky every year.
 

M i n e r

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Strength of schedule is important for an at-large bid.

And the student going against the mentor is fun to watch: UTEP versus Memphis is the best Miner series post Haskins.
 

El Paso 777

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Strength of schedule is important for an at-large bid.

And the student going against the mentor is fun to watch: UTEP versus Memphis is the best Miner series post Haskins.

So if UTEP doesn't play Kentucky every year you wouldn't want Barbee to coach UTEP?
 

UTEPfan1966

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Barbee is the only option. He built a top 25 team in a conference with at the time had a top team team. He would run through this conference.

I usually enjoy your posts, but you lost me right there. If he's the only option, then why not just close the Don and give up hoops too? Look man, I get it. You liked Barbee. You have some valid points as well, but by NO means is he the ONLY option to get us to win.
I am cool with an assistant hungry for a chance. I am not even going to speculate because NO ONE on here has a clue what Senter is doing behind the scenes, which is great. MANY assistants could walk in here in March/April sign 2 very good players, and have us headed in the right direction immediately.

Please stop this love affair for Barbee and saying he's the ONLY option.
PUH LEASE!
 

MinerManiac

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I was a long time UTEP season ticket holder - 23 years long! Until this year when I just couldn't take any more of Floyd and Stull. I am a good friend of Coach Barbee and just had to let you know some of your supposed insight is completely inaccurate.

In response to Coach Barbee not embracing the Haskins family, I know for a fact that Tony and Coach Haskins would get together four to five times a year. Haskins would pick him up in his truck and go to Haskins watering hole on I-10 towards Las Cruces. On several occasions they met a Coronado Country Club to talk basketball while Steve Haskins hit balls at the practice range. Coach Haskins attended practices a few times a year and Tony would take the time to ask for his comments and suggestions.

Thanks for your comments Felipe, I really appreciate the insight. I'm happy to hear that Barbee did meet with Coach Haskins. It does not appear that he did so as often as his predecessors, who would talk weekly about their meetings with Haskins. It would have been a smart PR move on Barbee's part to mention the meetings he did have to the media. He publicly did not seem to embrace Haskins like his predecessors did; letting the public know that he did indeed talk to the legendary coach would have improved public perception of him.

As for his team not playing defense, in 2010 (Barbee's last year at UTEP) kenpom.com shows that his team was top 10 in the country - both offense and defense. His team was made up of kids he personally recruited.

I agree with this completely. As I said in my original post, that team played fantastic defensive.

Although Floyd started off with many seniors, it sure did not help that he ran off Moultry as well as Eric Moreland - a 6'10" small forward who would've been a great asset to the team. Moreland ended up transferring to Oregon State where he was named the PAC 10 player of the year and went on to play in the NBA.

Did Floyd run off Moreland, or did he choose not to come based on the coaching change, which is common with recruits? If Floyd ran him off it was another stupid move on his part, but I would guess that Moreland probably chose not to come because the staff that recruited him was no longer here.

Going back to the Butler game, we were dominating the first half. The officials took over the game in the second half and handed Character his fourth foul, leaving him on the bench most of the second half.

Foul trouble on Caracter could be used as a reason for us blowing our half time lead and losing the game. It cannot be used as an excuse for how putrid we looked in the second half blowout. I still don't understand why we completely fell apart in that final 20 minutes.

Your perception of Barbee being aloof and not seen in the community, that could not be farther from the truth. Barbee took his team to Ft.Bliss and to local hospitals during the holidays but unfortunately it was not covered by the EP Times.

I met Tony with many of my east side friends , neighbors and UTEP supporters only 5 days after his hire. He made a strong effort to reach out El Pasoans and loved living here.

I only had the one interaction with Barbee that I mentioned in my original post. You knew him personally, and have a much different perspective, but you have to admit that he did have a reputation for being aloof, and of not being interested in El Paso. If this wasn't really the case, he will need to work at projecting a more positive image if he ever returns.

Leaving to Auburn was a no-brainer! A 7-year 1.5 million GUARANTEED contract was offered to him when his salary at UTEP was $300,000 per year. I know for a fact Stull never attempted to keep him here by making his contract more appealing. Yet Floyd started at $600,000!

I agree. I have never criticized any of our coaches for moving on to higher paying jobs. In fact, I have defended them from criticism on this board.

Thanks again for your thoughts and insights.
 
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Lil_Train

MI Hall of Famer
Jun 28, 2001
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I usually enjoy your posts, but you lost me right there. If he's the only option, then why not just close the Don and give up hoops too? Look man, I get it. You liked Barbee. You have some valid points as well, but by NO means is he the ONLY option to get us to win.
I am cool with an assistant hungry for a chance. I am not even going to speculate because NO ONE on here has a clue what Senter is doing behind the scenes, which is great. MANY assistants could walk in here in March/April sign 2 very good players, and have us headed in the right direction immediately.

Please stop this love affair for Barbee and saying he's the ONLY option.
PUH LEASE!
Barbee is definitely not the only option. While I agree that there are indeed legitimate obstacles to developing a successful and consistent winner, that can also be accomplished. As much as I hate to admit it, the proof is right up the road. I would be very satisfied with the "doing more with less" success that NMSU has achieved. The model is right there for Senter to analyze, customize and improve upon.
 

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